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Grant Details

Grant Number: 7R01CA259201-02 Interpret this number
Primary Investigator: Wangensteen, Kirk
Organization: Mayo Clinic Rochester
Project Title: Hereditary Genetics of Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Fiscal Year: 2022


Abstract

PROJECT SUMMARY Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) is a devastating and prevalent cancer of the liver with high rates of mortality. Major risk factors include chronic viral infection (hepatitis B or C), fatty liver disease, alcohol use, and exposure to environmental toxins. An independent risk factor is a family history of HCC in a first degree relative, which raises the risk by more than 2.5-fold. However, despite evidence of familial risk, few links to hereditary cancer syndromes have been identified. It is also not clear whether inherited gene mutations play a pathogenic role in HCC development, or whether they could be used to guide treatment. We have pioneered an investigation into inherited (i.e. germline) genetic factors associated with HCC. We have prospectively enrolled 220 patients with HCC from our medical center for clinical-grade genetic testing. We have recorded the details of their personal and family cancer history, risk factors, and outcomes. In our pilot analysis, we found a surprisingly high rate of pathogenic germline mutations in cancer-associated genes in patients with HCC, including numerous mutations in DNA damage response genes required for homologous repair (HR-DDR). In Aim 1, we will conduct a genetic association study that is powered to detect clinically meaningful germline mutations linked to HCC, and we will examine whether hereditary cancer syndromes are more common in persons who developed early onset HCC or have a family history of cancer. In Aim 2, we will explore the mechanism of HCC arising from defects in HR- DDR genes, and determine the implications for targeted therapies. These unique studies of the hereditary genetics of HCC have the potential to personalize therapies for the subset of patients with hereditary cancer syndromes. We have assembled a team of experts in HCC, hereditary genetics, and animal models to complete this investigation. This study has the potential to shape the care of patients with HCC in the US and worldwide.



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